Coron, Palawan: The Cheapest, Best Holiday Ever
Trip Start Unknown
2Trip End Ongoing
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
What I did
Island-hopping, Snorkeling, Swimming, Walking Tour, Shopping in the Local Market
Walking Tour, Trekking, Snorkeling, Swimming, Shopping, Munching a Lot, Enjoying the Sun, Sand, and Sea,
From Manila we took a flight to Busuanga (Coron airport) via Zest Air. Aboard the craft as we looked outside the window we were surprised to see the grandeur of scattered islands surrounded by white sandy beaches which gave me a hint that these might be the ones featured in the Department of Tourism's WOW Philippines: It’s More than the Usual tourism campaign ad way back 2003 in the "Island" category. To be truly captivated here's my justification. Click on the the link to see the video (courtesy of DOT) What I witnessed was as stunning as this:
In Busuanga Airport leaflets and brochures comprising hotels, pension houses, and backpacker inns; native and theme restaurants; to tour packages were properly distributed with abundant and of quality choices although,as per my observation a common facility establishment problem that I considered was the dirty and uncomfortable restroom
We never made a room reservation in order for us to experience the real holiday island trip and we ended looking for one after a couple of hours because we never thought that that month of February was a peak season. The inns seemed to be close to each other so it was not really difficult to search for a room, and likewise tricycles were seemingly available all the time on the streets with a fare of P10.00 per passenger. We found Amphibi-ko Resort adorned with native Filipino materials that was obviously inviting. We stayed there for a night for P1,200.00 including breakfast. The rate was supposed to be P1500.00 but because the power only ran from 6 pm-6 am we were able to avail a discount. The resort was pretty in nature and the facilities were well-maintained and apparently simply at par excellence for the said price. There was a free wi-fi connection; breakfast was great; friendly employees and they also served Japanese cuisine. We stayed on the second level of the resort and we realized that at daytime there was no water for there was no power to run the water pressure, it was not nice to stay sweaty and sun-scented the whole hot day without taking a shower so we moved out and there we found the Mommita's Lodge
Mommita's Lodge was actually a second choice because no private toilet in each room was offered, rather only common toilet and shower. But as we saw it, it was tidy and well-kept. For an overnight stay rate of P600.00, we found it worthwhile. The good thing did not end there for we found out that a meal rate of P200.00/head was also offered. Mommita's Inn was considered an ancestral house turned into an inn run by the very accommodating Mommita herself with her friendly staff. I guess for a breakfast of P200.00 of fried rice, fresh fish, fried eggs, tocino and fresh tomatoes with coffee served by the hospitable staff was not really bad. It was an American-service style but served with authentic Filipino home-made cuisine, same with lunch and dinner but with fresh seafood like: jumbo, gigantic prawns, squids, fat crabs, smoked fish served up on the second floor in the cozy, private terrace of the inn, again, prepared by the staff.
Mommita also organized us a private island-hopping trip to Banana Island and Malcapuya Island costing us P850/head together with her very accommodating staff who served us lunch and snacks during our full day trip. In Mommita's Inn we felt like royalties during our entire stay served with comfort and warm Filipino hospitality
The Banana Island was such a small island but its size doesn't equate the various activities that can be done here. We had spoken to the island owner while she was weaving and surprisingly she mentioned that the island offered an overnight stay via renting a nipa hut that could accommodate 3, 4, or even 5 guests with native beds each equipped with the old school mosquito nets. We were quite exhausted and fantasized of having a summer escapade by drinking a fresh coconut. We had been served all for free! Moving on, I walked around and I discovered that there was so much things to do on the island like beach volleyball, kayaking and of course snorkeling. Here we very much enjoyed snorkeling for we had seen schools of fish of various colors, textures, and shapes. Since fishes were seemed to be so timid, a certain staff advised us to provide them with tiny bits of bread should you like to feel them and see them close up. Yes we did and they all came to us. The good thing about this island is that, the fishes are abundant and could even be seen on the shalow water by the shore. I will do this trip again. Macky took us some photos underwater while feeding the fishes and you are able to see these photos at the bottom of my blog and you might come up with a plan of exploring this island yourself.
We had our lunch at Malcapuya Island
Talking about the places where we went to, first day was just fun to see the entire 360 degrees view of the entire island by way of climbing up Mt. Tapyas with approximately 750-800 steps which was a good excercise (burn those carbs baby!). Right after that we headed to the Maquinit Hot Springs to freshen up and relax. It was a very refreshing experience bathing and soaking your tired body on a natural hot springs which was also open to cater guests even in the evening. From Mt. Tapyas to Maquinit Hot Springs we made an agreement with the tricycle driver to wait for us while enjoying those happy moments for a rate of P500.00. Do try to bargain with the tricycle driver. Right after, we had a sumptuous dinner in a Thai-Filipino resto somewhere in the town plaza where I tasted a lovely Thai green curry. We had an early night for the next day's island-hopping trip.
The highlight of Coron trip was the island-hopping which we availed from Mr. Al Linsangan whom he had his own tour office with various tour options. What we chose was the package of Cayangan Lake, CYC Island, Twin Lagoon of divided hot and cold waters, and two different coral gardens
As we were sailing, beautiful scattered islands caught our attention and we were left in awe as if we were just watching the National Geographic Channel featuring the most beautiful places on earth, most especially when we reached the Cayangan Lake. But before reaching the Cayangan Lake, we needed to go across the mountain. Halfway through to the lake was the mountain's viewdeck, there we witnessed a perfect view, a view that was so panoramic. A view that I thought could only be seen in the post cards of Coron, Palawan that brings a peace of mind of a clear blue sky, emerald crytal clear water and enormous spectacular limestones.
Next stop: Twin Lagoon. From the name itself, the Twin Lagoon comprises two lagoons separated by a rock formation. The first one was where we docked, that I consider the outer; and the second where we were required to climb up a six-foot high bamboo ladder toward the inner lagoon enveloped by the limestones in order for us to experience its distinct characteristic of having a hot and cold water in a lone lagoon
and suddenly shiver embraced my entire body, the water was cold. As I moved to the center, the palpable transition from cold to hot water temperature filled my body with a certain degree of wellness and relaxation. My partner felt so happy for this extraordinary lagoon and even stated "We should spend a whole day here." Snorkelling is not really advisable to do here, but a mere floating is strongly suggested while watching those towering limestones, the lush greens and the clear water entwined with the peaceful sound of the chirping birds..
However, of all the islands in this trip that I got really disappointed to was the CYC Beach. I wondered how was this badly treated. It was dumped by garbage of various people who previously visited and that theory was based on my observation during that time wherein there was another group of locals who had been there before we came watching how they just dumped their garbage in one point on the island. Likewise bonfire marks could be observed around the island. However, to refrain myself from pessimism about the reality, the trip emerged to be so lovely and memorable.
My European partner was extremely happy that we visited Coron, Palawan for he himself was definitely amazed by the natural wonders it offers not to forget the warm Filipino hospitality given by Mommita and the villagers. He even keeps on talking to his friends his memorable experience he had to his friends in Europe and just a month ago, five of his friends visited it and had exactly the same fun experience. For my Filipino friends and I, we also felt the extreme fun we have been looking for in a certain tourist destination, but what makes me much extremely happier is the happiness that I shared to foreign visitors who find our country as WOW as a paradise.